chris-gotz-design-indaba-designboom01Dear members,

Alas, my time as Creative Circle Chair has come to an end.

It has been interesting, exciting, instructive, fractious, inspiring and, for the most part, generally pretty cool. My tenure has coincided with a time of great change for our industry and everyone in it, especially us creative folk.

We are in the middle of a revolution in tech and media which is completely changing the way we tell our stories. It’s been part of my mission to create a culture that reflects that. Our digital Creative Circle Award category grows ever stronger, as does the rest of the work we are producing as a country. We are seeing these new influences at play in virtually all the disciplines, digital is at the center of some of our best print, film, radio and outdoor work. Hopefully this year some lucky agency will win a Cyber Lion and liberate that case of Bollinger from Mr Warsop’s creaky leather couch.

Our Creative Circle internship programme is in its third year now, and it has given a number of talented people a path into the industry they never would have had before. Our new partnership with Power Of 50 will accelerate that process. Transformation in the creative disciplines is crucial, not because of BEE scorecards, but because the stories we tell need to be told by everyone, not just rich kids from Bryanston who could afford the 40k a year to go to ad school.

I’d like to thank the elder statesmen of the industry for their support and encouragement along the way. Also to the CC ExCo, a group of finer young men and ladies I could not have hoped to work with. Our discussion has been balanced, intelligent and, of course, laced with straight-razor wit.

Finally, I have to extend massive tidal wave of hugs and kisses and thanks and possibly a red Audi Cabriolet? to the long-suffering Arlene Donenberg, the real driving force behind the CC.? Arlene works tirelessly trying to get myself, other terminally distracted CD’s and half-crazed OCD Art Directors to do her bidding. Somehow, most of the time, it works. Thanks Arlene. Without you we would be a bedraggled heap of Apple devices, G-Star denim and weird animal gifs.

I tried, as far as possible, to talk to as many of our inspiring and talented young creative people as I could. Much of the time they were drunk, which made it more fun (though in parts difficult to follow), but I appreciate the chats nonetheless. I think the future of our industry is in good hands, if we can just keep those hands from fiddling permanently with our dratted cell phones.

Finally, I’d just like to say huge congrats and good luck to the incoming Chairperson, Justin Gomes, a man who will probably get more done than me, with less fuss and certainly without pissing off every journalist in the country. Justin has been a big hitter in our industry for some time now and his leadership and guidance will be invaluable in these changing and challenging times.

Thanks for everything, everyone.


All the best

Chris Gotz